National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, 2022, 23(1): 33–35


Copyright © 2022 Eric W. Miller


As part of the National Collegiate Honors Council’s (2022) collection of essays about the value of honors to its graduates (1967–2019), the author reflects on the personal and professional impacts of the honors experience.

I t was the welcome letter from the Honors program director that drew me in. I was hesitant to attend a large school, and West Virginia University was a big place. Even though being a Mountaineer ran deep in my family, I was drawn to smaller settings, with a desire for a more intimate education and close colleagues to converse and grow with. I wanted to know my professors and they me. But my skepticism that I could achieve this in Morgantown diminished when I read my acceptance letter from the Honors Director: “Honors courses are different: classes are smaller and the discussion level is high.” With this reassurance, I embraced the Honors program and the first great value I would enjoy throughout my collegiate years: being part of an intimate learning environment surrounded by peers, faculty, and administrators who cared deeply about learning, growing, and community. It was students teaching Honors orientation that led me to love teaching and learning with others.